Le beaujolais nouveau est arrivé

BeaujolaisnouveauAs you almost certainly know (especially if you read my post of the same title as this on ThisNext), yesterday marked the arrival of beaujolais nouveau worldwide.

Beaujolais nouveau is not something I get terribly excited about. I have always found it to be cloyingly grapey, overly fruity and with some bizarre notes in the bouquet, like overripe bananas or bubble gum. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen "Jolly Ranchers" included as a descriptor for the flavor.) I don’t really consider myself a true wine snob (trust me, I’ll drink almost anything), but I have some limits.

Still, beaujolais nouveau is tradition, and I do sort of get caught up in the frenzy and festivity of the whole affair. I also figured that there had to be no small amount of diversity between producers. So off to Plumpjack I went.

Predictably, they had the vins nouveaux, three of them, positioned at the endcap to greet you as you enter the store. I chatted with one of the fellas there about it. He steered me to the Georges Duboeuf as the fruitiest of the bunch. Duboeuf is the biggest producer and the only one I’ve ever had, so I wanted to try something a little different. Of the other two, one had more earthy notes, and another was most like a pinot noir in profile. As the notion of earthiness on a young and fruity wine kind of scared me, the latter is the one I tried: Domaine Ruet.

The good news: No banana/bubble gum/Jolly Rancher flavors here. In fact, had I not known it was a beaujolais nouveau, I might in fact have thought it to be a pinot noir, albeit not a very good one. It even had a bit of tannic structure, which is completely unusual. But, it lacked more than just fruit forwardness. It lacked a little bit of everything. The nose was simple, grapey and a little plummy; on the palate it was just … wine. It wasn’t exactly bad, but it had little to recommend it other than its complete and utter innocuousness. It did pair well enough with delivery pizza, though. Oh, and the best part? Screw top, baby.

  • Amy

    This is going to sound really silly, but when I was a little kid, I used to steal my mom’s romance novels and read them.
    As a result, I’ve never actually drank a beaujolais nouveau.
    I know it sounds like a strange connection, but in a Jackie Collins novel there was a character Billy, who was from upper crust LA society. She rebelled from her family by taking up residence in the latin quarter in Paris. When her mother came to visit, she took her to a bistro where she bought *gasp* a bottle of beaujolais nouveau. This scandalized her mother to the point that she was almost overcome by shame.
    Ok, clearly I’m going to have to get shopping and actually drink a bottle.

  • This cracks me up. I always thought of beaujolais nouveau as pedestrian, not scandalous. However, I love the idea of it horrifying society women. Definitely all the more reason to drink it! 🙂

  • I’m with ya, Sean. I too think of it as a more pedestrian, easy-for-the-masses-to-drink wine.

  • How did I miss this day of days! There is no way to miss it in Paris, but here there is no excited French waiter to remind me! Foiled again!!

  • Sacré bleu! Guess you don’t troll the wine stores like I do … 🙂